- A United Airlines flight from Newark to Dublin had to turn around due to high engine vibrations, with a crack found in the engine upon inspection.
- The crew declared an emergency and safely landed the aircraft back in Newark without incident.
- Passengers experienced travel disruptions, but United was able to accommodate them with a larger aircraft on the next day’s flight.
A recent United Airlines flight between Newark and Dublin ended up back in New Jersey after the pilots reported high engine vibrations. The Boeing 757-200 was northwest of Gander when it decided to make a U-turn.
On October 7th, the crew onboard United flight UA317 heard a large bang and an unexpected movement from the aircraft at around two hours and 40 minutes in flight. At this point, the pilot reviewed the Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System (EICAS), where the number one engine showed vibration.
Photo: Carlos Yudica | Shutterstock
At this point, the crew referred to the Quick Reference Handbook (QRH) and decided to reduce the engine power, hoping the vibration would decrease.
Declared an emergency
While engine vibration decreased from the amber range, the crew consulted with company maintenance and declared an emergency. With the team coordinating its return with air traffic control, the aircraft was able to land back at Newark on runway 22L without incident. Upon further inspection, a crack was located at the one o’clock position on the number one engine.
The aircraft at the center of the drama was a United Airlines Boeing 757-200, with the ripe old age of 23.7 years. Holding the registration N41140, serial number 30353, first took flight on February 2nd, 2000, and started scheduled operations under Continental Airlines later that month.
November 1st, 2010, saw the aircraft move under the United banner, where it has flown since. According to data from Airfleets, the plane is powered by two x Rolls-Royce RB211-535E4B engines and is configured on the inside with 16 seats in business class and 153 for economy class passengers.
Photo: jremes84 | Shutterstock
UA317 was scheduled to depart on October 7th from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) at 21:55. However, according to data from Flightradar24, it only left the New York airport at 22:26, With an expected arrival time into the Irish Capital at 09:45 the following morning.
While cruising at its altitude of 37,000ft, the vibrations occurred, and at around 12:45 (EDT), just north of the Newfoundland coastline, the emergency was declared. The aircraft then lowered its altitude to 25,00ft, completed its U-turn, and headed back toward Manhattan. Passing over the Gulf of St Lawrence and past the northeastern states, the aircraft landed in Newark at 03:33 local time.
Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying
For passengers, interruptions to their travel plans are less than ideal; however, safety comes first. Looking at data from Flightradar24, the service for October 8th was upgraded to a larger Boeing 767-300 (N642UA) and mainly departed on time.
From Newark, a connection to Dublin is made possible by two daily services with United (one a 777-200, and the other the 757-200), alongside Aer Lingus, which operates as EI100, daily with an A321-200.
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Denver International Airport, Guam International Airport, Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport
- Year Founded:
- Star Alliance
- Scott Kirby
- United States
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- United States
- James Gill
- Passenger Count :
- 15,892,892 (2020)
- Runways :
- 4L/22R – 3,353m (11,000 ft) |4R/22L – 3,048m (10,000 ft) |11/29 – 2,050m (6,726 ft)
- Terminal A |Terminal B |Terminal C